Every now and then an advertising campaign captures the public imagination and launches a catchphrase into the lexicon.
‘Finger Lickin’ Good’, ‘Just Do It’ and ‘Because I’m Worth It’ are just a few examples that are in regular use – even by those who have no idea that these were originally straplines from commercials by KFC, Nike and L’Oréal respectively. The most famous example of this phenomenon in the UK comes from a 1994 advert for a Ronseal wood-stain product which intoned that ‘It Does Exactly What It Says On The Tin’. Such was the success of this campaign, based entirely on the popularity of its motto, that a variant of the commercial has featured continuously on British TV up to the present date.
This saying is in regular use in daily British life to convey down-to-earth and no-nonsense credentials; a pretence-free approach; a commendably truthful, open, uncomplicated and forthright position.
I was reminded of this saying when recently reflecting on Continuing Professional Development (CPD), which Lawyers (and other ‘Professionals’) like me will recognise as the requirement from a governing body to attend courses to keep abreast of changes and updates to relevant professional practice. CPD is ongoing; it relates to a recognised speciality; and it is concerned with improvement. It does exactly what it says on the tin.
My reflection was instigated by a conviction that CPD applies as much to language learning as it does to Law, Accountancy, Veterinary Science, Medicine or any other recognised ‘Profession’. Students of language, whatever their level, need to hone their skills and keep up with linguistic development every bit as much as a Doctor needs, for instance, to maintain familiarity with the latest research papers and technological breakthroughs.
Just imagine the likely state of your second language if you took a year ‘off’ your studies. Would you still be able to make yourself understood? Probably. Would your precision be compromised? Almost certainly. Would your ability to incorporate up-to-date idiom suffer? Without doubt. As Meatloaf would have said in the circumstances, ‘Two out of Three is Bad’.
Studying a foreign language is quasi-professional; CPD is imperative; and LOS is here to provide it. And after you complete the following lesson, you will definitely be saying: ‘I’m Lovin’ It’.
Rory Mulvihill, LOS Consultant